“I’m bored with life…”
Finding yourself stuck in a rut of boredom can happen from time to time. But what to do when the occasional rut has become your routine?
It is terribly common for people to feel bored with their own lives because the truth is, while routines are necessary for so many reasons, they can cause excitement to go stale.
Chronic boredom can be the result of so many factors. According to the American Psychological Association, too much idle time can wreak havoc on your mental health.
As you take a deep dive into your own life, pay attention to the times you find yourself feeling bored. Giving attention and thought to the who, what, when, where, and why of your so-called boring life will allow you to regain control and take action.
I’m Bored with Life…possible reasons why you have a boring life
1. You avoid being social
The global pandemic really did not do anyone any favors in this department. Being forced to stay at home for prolonged periods of time and shutting down venues like restaurants, concert halls, and public parks forced even the social butterflies to retreat to their cocoons.
However, now that the world has relaxed restrictions a little bit, you need to consider how your socializing patterns contribute to your boring life.
When you are asked to go out and say no, why is that? If you are saying no for no tangible reason, that can become problematic.
Telling yourself your excuses are legitimate can be a very easy but slippery slope. If you want to make your life interesting, you need to be aware of the fact that you must leave your home to accomplish that.
2. You are in a relationship with your loungewear
Fashion trends have lent themselves towards comfort over everything, but have you taken that too far?
Even if you work or attend school from home, dressing for the day and putting effort into your appearance can help remedy feelings of boredom. This will also give you an opportunity to experiment with fashion and learn what your personal style is.
Linked closely to being social, if you find yourself picking your robe over a dinner invitation out, you may want to evaluate that.
There is certainly nothing wrong with being comfortable in your fashion choices. However, waking up each morning and skipping a shower only to throw on a sweatshirt you have had since college is not pointing you in the direction of being able to overcome boredom.
3. You are waiting for life to happen to you
Not taking any actionable steps towards creating an exciting life for yourself is a mistake.
While there will always be outside influences and factors out of your control, you design your destiny.
It is a beautiful thing to have hopes and dreams, but what are you physically doing about them? For some, this can seem like too high of a mountain to climb. If that is the case, break off small pieces that can be accomplished on a daily basis.
Even something as simple as eating the same thing each day requires action to be changed. Nobody is going to magically drop new items into your grocery cart.
You must acknowledge the behavior, find a new recipe that excites you, and purchase the food yourself. Once you have this systematic approach under your belt with a few small things, taking action towards making large changes will be less intimidating.
4. You are judgmental
This is not a criticism.
Many people have moments of judgmental behavior throughout their lives, and this can be a natural, humanistic part of life.
Where it applies to being bored with life, however, is when you view what others are doing through a lens that is so rooted in judgment you have convinced yourself you could never do what they did.
Often these judgments are not intentional. Listen to how you talk to yourself and other people in response to hearing about a choice someone has made.
If you are using language like ‘what were they thinking?’ and ‘that seems crazy,’ you can be unintentionally casting judgment that is, in turn, preventing you from allowing yourself to make changes in your life necessary to avoid feeling constantly bored.
5. You refuse to do anything alone
If you do not enjoy your own company enough to do things that you know would excite you because you would have to do them alone, that is a major roadblock.
Spending time by yourself does not come naturally to everyone, but it can be a great skill to learn.
If you have identified activities that you know would lead you towards a more mindful and better life but cannot find anyone to enjoy them with you, do them anyways.
If you refuse to get to know yourself independently from your outside relationships, how can you expect to ever experience complete fulfillment? Electing to be constantly bored because being alone for an activity feels uncomfortable can only be remedied one way.
Perhaps you can identify activities where there are other solo people that collectively make up a group as a way to get your feet wet.
A coffee shop is a great example. Here is a place where people come, often alone, to read, work, or enjoy the silence and people watch. They come alone, but they are not alone.
Start here and see how you feel. It is a true shame to miss out on your own life simply because you fear solo experiences.
6. You have no physical activity
If your mind and soul are running on autopilot, chances are your body is as well. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a lack of exercise is one of the key factors contributing to stress.
Physical activity is a key part of upping the energy and excitement in your personal life. There are a million ways to bring endorphins into your life by moving your body.
Besides the obvious health reasons, human psychology believes that being physical is directly linked to overall life satisfaction.
Your intimate life deserves your attention as well. If you have the desire to engage in sexual relations but for whatever reason, find that you are not, think about if you want to change this pattern.
It has been said that the less sex we have, the less we want, and the more we have, the more we want. So if you have been in a rut, it can be quite easy to just stay there and not even remember what your body is missing.
7. Your love life has plateaued
Common elements of healthy relationships like stability and predictability can have two faces.
While these qualities can reassure you that you are with the right partner, or intentionally not with a partner, they may also be add to your boring life. There are ways to shake things up that will not disrupt the stability of your love life.
Whether you are in love or not, entering the comfort zone can kill your willingness to try new things, creating boredom.
If you have a partner, try to remember what made it exciting in the early stages of your romantic relationship. Did you often go out to restaurants? Were you in a book club together?
Taking a trip down memory lane as a team can set you up with actionable steps to take to make the old feel new again.
Conversely, if you have been without a relationship for an extended period of time, although this may be your choice, it also may be part of the reason you are chronically bored.
Dating can be daunting, and it can also, in some ways, require you to stay clear of doing the same things day in and day out, like socializing and getting out of your sweatpants on a Tuesday.
However, if your ultimate goal is to be in a relationship, it is not enough to hope it will be your reality one day. Plus, dating can be a great way to increase your social circle and make new friends if the opportunity for romance does not exist.
How to cure the boredom blues
Once you have had an honest conversation with yourself about the potential causes of your boredom, you can begin to consider ways to remedy it.
Before you can explore these suggestions, you must:
- Be open to change
- Dedicate time in your schedule towards self-improvement
- Be willing to remove things from your life that do not suit your goals
- Not give up at the first sign of trouble or discomfort
1. Engage in a variety of activities
The same old same old has brought you to this point; it is time to discover some new things to create pleasure in your life. Additionally, do not put all your eggs into one basket.
We are all busy, and life has a nagging way of tricking our minds into believing we are too busy to add anything else to our plate. But the truth is, we make time for the things we want to do.
Diversify your free time.
Convincing yourself that taking up baking is the only thing you have time for, only to find out you actually hate to bake, puts you right back where you started, convinced that doing nothing is better than trying something new. The antithesis of what you are trying to achieve.
Instead, make a list of things you have always wanted to try, and dedicate yourself to switching up the frequency at which you try each thing.
Of course, certain hobbies, like learning a foreign language, require you to be diligent, but there is absolutely no reason that you cannot study to learn a new language and be on an intramural kickball team one night a week at the same time.
You can also consider reworking your existing hobbies.
For creatives, maybe you have always enjoyed writing poetry but have grown bored. Try other styles of writing. You may grow to love writing practical articles as opposed to works of fiction while still maintaining your original source of fun.
2. Find comfort in discomfort
Continuing to live the same life is only going to get you to one place, the place you are currently at, a place in which you feel bored with life.
When personal integrity and safety are not an issue, push yourself past the place of “no” and into a place of “yes”. Most of our growth happens on the outskirts of where our comfort levels lie. Approach this in a way that allows you to feel both pushed and safe.
For example, if you have always wanted to foster animals, start with one and see how that adjustment impacts your life accordingly. Do not run to a shelter and bring home six dogs on a whim.
The self-discovery that will befall you as a result of taking risks is so valuable. You can then take what you have gained through introspection and use it as an encouragement to replicate the same risk-taking behavior going forward.
3. Teach yourself something new
Learning is such a large piece of combating a boring life. New experiences, skills, and information are sure-fire ways to put a spark into your everyday.
If you teach yourself something new, you will also experience the satisfaction of having sought something out, tackled it independently, and brought it to completion, all from scratch and all on your own.
The presence of technology can help guide you towards accomplishing this.
For example, maybe you are interested in woodworking but have never tried it and have no clue how to start. The human mind will probably tell you that since you know nothing about it, just forget it, but what good will that do?
Instead, take to blogs, online tutorials, or professionals at the hardware store to gain advice and soak up their expertise.
Teaching yourself something new does not mean you never ask for help or use other people’s advice. It simply means you invest in your self-worth enough to believe you can accomplish what you set out to do.
4. Tell yourself yes
How is your self-talk? Maybe you have convinced yourself that you have only boring people in your life, when in fact you are the only thing standing in between this rut and a new life.
Not everything that is contributing to your feelings are external in nature. Some of it comes from within.
Maybe you have convinced yourself you are ‘too old to learn a new instrument’ or ‘I would never enjoy a pottery class.’ Putting limitations on yourself will not do anything to help you feel alive.
Say yes to yourself. When you have no legitimate reason not to say yes, just say it. If this does not seem attainable, or you can get your mind to agree, but you have no follow-through, then plan it.
Give yourself a yes day. Pick one day a week, or a month, or a quarter, where you remove any limitations that are holding you back.
Feel like riding your bike through a new part of town but never seem to be able to push yourself away from your usual route because that is the one that is more convenient? On your yes day, convenience does not exist.
Yes. You can take your bike down a new path because the five extra minutes it adds to your commute do not hold as much weight as the opportunity to experience something new.
5. Experience life through a child’s eyes
There is no doubt that the innocence of a child leaves little to be desired. Kids can bring joy and excitement into almost any situation regardless of all other semantics. Young people live in the present moment.
If you want to experience a shot of life, spend time around children. The simplicity of being a kid can help you get back to the basics. Understand how to find enjoyment in simplicity and breathe fresh air into your daily routine.
For some, this means becoming a parent. For others, enjoying the children of their close friends and family.
If neither of these opportunities sounds plausible for you, do not despair. You can find volunteer opportunities that include children in an attempt to see life through their eyes.
A child’s imagination can be contagious, and as adults, we naturally lose some of the power of imagination as we age, and our responsibilities grow.
Spending time inside a young person’s mind can provide instant gratification that will encourage you to emulate their perspectives and approach in your life as well.
6. Speak to a life coach
Maybe you need professional intervention. This does not mean defeat. It simply means that you are allowing yourself to be open-minded enough to seek out an expert to kick start your new journey.
Much of what makes up boredom is a closed mind and one-track thinking. This can occur gradually and as a result of your daily routine. Consider outsiders, the outlook may be just what you need.
People who have studied the science behind curating a life that you love can offer you practical ways to bust out of monotony. There is an element of accountability that will come with this as well.
A coach is going to guide you but not do everything for you. They will offer suggestions of positive things and help you design a plan of action, but then it is on you to execute.
The fact that they will be there to give support as needed as well as hold you to the finish line is a great way to get your mind and body used to step outside the box.
7. Switch up your environment
Familiarity is not bad, but it is not exciting. Knowing what to expect each and every day might not make you feel compelled to make changes because the unknown can be scary.
But it does not have to be. Maybe you switch things up in ways that do not impact your actual routine that significantly, like your home’s décor and style.
A simple way to accomplish this would be seasonal decorating. Although you may love your home, it can certainly take away from the element of excitement if you never switch it up.
Decorating according to the season or holiday is smart because it is a schedule determined by the calendar, and there will be tons of items to purchase at that store to fit each aesthetic.
Not to mention if you find something that you love, it can become somewhat of a tradition to put it out at the same time annually and give you something to look forward to in terms of creating newness in your home.
Your work environment is an area that can probably also stand to be reworked. While this suggestion does not mean up and quitting your job, it does mean quitting settling for the familiar.
If you are a remote employee, pick one day each week where you work from a place that is not inside your home. Library, park, tea merchant shop, any of these places are good suggestions. Changing up the view from behind your laptop can increase productivity as well.
8. Start practicing gratitude
It is not enough to tell yourself every once in a while that you have a great life. A daily reminder of what makes it great can help you to find appreciation in the small things.
Recognizing what you are grateful for will also help you identify what to include more of in your life. If you do this while pairing it with reading self-help books, you can really begin to hone in on the roots of both your happiness and your slightest dissatisfactions in an effort to implement change.
Acknowledging all the things that this world has shown you to make you feel grateful will serve as a constant reminder of who you are as a person as well. What your interests are, what contribution you make in the world, and give you a sense of humility that will open you up to new experiences.
9. Take a digital detox
Have you ever considered the possibility that what you do when you are bored is simply prolonging your boredom? Electronics are sneaky ways to steal energy away from our days.
It may feel amazing to unwind from a hard day in front of the tv, but do you even care about what you are watching? Even when you are invested in one show or another, are you truly having fun?
A digital detox may be just what you need to get out into the world and quit taking your one life for granted.
This will look different for everyone. Perhaps you are committed to putting your cell phone away beginning one hour before bedtime every night and not looking at it again until the morning.
Or maybe you declare one weekend a month to be free from television. The best thing about these trendy suggestions is that they can be completely customizable. Even something as simple as giving up your e-reader and going back to actual books can be impactful and make what is old feel new again.
If you recognize only one thing to take away from this, let it be that the circumstances of your life belong to you. The world will inevitably throw curveballs at you that can convince you to accept a boring life, resist that temptation.
Keep a collection of practical articles on hand so that when you are in a funk, you have tools at your disposal to un-funk yourself.
Do not declare that change has to be grandiose to be effective. Instead, focus on new food at the grocery store or meeting new people at work.
Once you realize how much fun the world has in store, you and your friends will soon forget you ever once considered your lives to be boring. Happiness can be manufactured.
When you are feeling an overwhelming period of boredom, do not live inside of it.